i'm struck by how people are getting excited about 'radical' frame design these days, when by and large i find tri bikes are more tame and less varied than they used to be. i mean, in the mid-90s you saw some crazy, crazy stuff parked in transition. weird materials, weird designs, funny bikes . . . the works. off the top of my head:
-all kinds of bianchis
and then what happened?
my theory: for a few years, because of coincidences of morphology and sponsorship a bunch of big names won big races on road bikes. reid, smyers, deboom, van lierde . . . all these people riding and winning on round-tubed, double-diamond bikes built by huge companies who didn't really make 'tri' bikes.
that came together with UCI rules and created a perfect storm. suddenly age-group athletes everywhere were convinced that they needed to be UCI-legal. frame design got samey and boring, and now 20 years later we're looking at beam-bikes and z-frames like they're a crazy new idea.
am i the only one who remembers flipping to the back of triathlete magazine every month and looking at all the wild possibilities in the nytro advertisements? hmm. maybe i am old.